HEADLINES

1992 Acura Integra Structure

Overview

The main design consideration of the Integra body is to provide a high degree of structural integrity. This achieves the following objectives: it provides a stable platform for suspension and driveline components, and it helps reduce vibration and noise. The unit body is also designed to help ensure occupant safety, with specific impact-absorption zones, front and rear, and a high overall level of passenger cabin integrity.

The Integra body design is aerodynamically efficient with a sloping hood, nearly flush outside surfaces, sashless doors, a low belt line and a large greenhouse. The styling emphasizes its wedge shape, yet softens it with smooth, rounded contours. With sharply raked front and rear glass, the Integra has a look that's aggressive and sporty, yet elegant and contemporary.

Aerodynamics

The Integra shape is aerodynamically efficient, with a drag coefficient of only 0.32 for the 3-door and 0.34 for the 4-door. This means better fuel efficiency and a quieter ride as well as a more pleasing appearance.

Extensive wind tunnel testing was used to refine the Integra's design. The body surface is smooth, with nearly flush metal-to-glass areas. Efficient engine and suspension packaging permits a very low hoodline that slopes sharply up to the cowl. The raked-back windshield blends the roof and large compound-curved rear glass. Integra 3-door GS models are equipped with a rear spoiler.

Structural Design

For passenger security and to provide a stable handling platform, the Integra body is a rigid unit structure designed to resist bending and torsional forces. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and NASTRAN, a stress analysis program written by NASA, were used throughout the development process to arrive at the final configuration of the Integra body architecture.To assure the integrity of the passenger compartment, it is surrounded by box-section members.

The A pillars are braced at the cowl and have an extra U-shaped reinforcing member that runs through the center of their box section.The B pillars are reinforced at their base, where they tie into the lower side members, which have a central support similar to that of the A pillars. The rear pillars are anchored to the structure around the rear wheel housings with reinforcing members. Further bracing is provided by a bulkhead behind the rear seats in the 4-door models.

The pillars and side sills are tied together by the floorpan, front and rear cross-members, and a box-section around the perimeter of the roof to form a cage around the passenger compartment. The resulting structure is much stronger in terms of bending rigidity and torsional rigidity than a conventional design.

Anti-Corrosion and Finish

Resistance to corrosion is an inherent part of the Integra design. The metal panels that make up the Integra structure are carefully shaped to avoid indentations and depressions where moisture and road grime can accumulate and cause rust. Also, special materials and treatments are used throughout the Integra body to repel rust and resist corrosion. A zinc phosphate coating is applied to the entire body. Double-sided zinc-dipped steel is used for the hood, front fenders, front wheel wells, engine compartment, floor pan and along the sills,and single-sided zinc galvanized steel is used on many exterior panels. For additional protection, the leading edges of the hood and front fenders are treated with a special primer that resists chipping. Antirust wax is sprayed inside box-sections and out-of-the-way places. The Integra surface finish begins with a thorough cleaning and then goes through a special three-coat, three-bake painting process.

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